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The SAP world is buzzing about the SAP HANA Real-Time Race that took place this week at SAP TechEd 2012 in Las Vegas. I am proud to announce that Optimal took home the prize as the overall contest winner – against some very stiff competition, in one of the hottest areas today – SAP HANA.

The challenge was relatively straightforward. Expert SAP HANA deployment teams from Optimal and Bluefin went head-to-head -- racing each other and the clock -- to see which team could deploy SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) data sets on SAP HANA in the most effective manner, as judged by an SAP customer – one of North America's leading food makers – who graciously provided the data and the requirements. As you can imagine, the competition was fast and furious – and fun to watch.

The Optimal and Bluefin teams were given dedicated show floor space and equipment from Cisco, EMC and IBM in order to address the challenge in real time. The Twitterverse was on fire with both sides cheering on their teams to the finish. We at Optimal take great pride in coming out on top in this one-of-a-kind, high profile contest.

But the HANA Real-Time Race was not really about Optimal vs. Bluefin (a formidable competitor under any circumstances). What was of paramount importance in the Real-Time HANA race was the opportunity to showcase for SAP professionals and SAP customers attending TechEd the relative ease and speed with which HANA can be implemented and put to work to drive real-world business transformation.

In his keynote, SAP CTO and Executive Board Member Dr. Vishal Sikka spoke passionately about HANA’s transformative potential, reaffirming that

HANA-powered innovation will permeate – in a non-disruptive manner – every SAP technology platform and every SAP solution.

For SAP customers, Dr. Sikka underscored the business imperative for speeding up processes, noting that HANA typically delivers up to 10,000x speed improvements in business processes, and pointing out that the 100,000x business process speed improvement club is open and growing (with at least five SAP HANA customers achieving this milestone).

Dr. Sikka added that SAP HANA can drive a massive reduction and simplification in terms of cost and complexity of IT landscapes; an enormous empowerment of end users to ask broad, deep questions using real-time accurate data of all types; and the enablement of end users to easily and instantly amplify what they’ve discovered using HANA throughout their organization.

The full “HANA effect,” Dr. Sikka held, is limited only by the imagination of business end users to conceive of and ask questions – both simple and complex – that advance their business.

(Check out Dr. Sikka’s SAP TechEd Keynote for a selection of examples of what real-world SAP customers are achieving with HANA today.)

Led by Optimal SAP HANA Practice Director Leon Reznick and Optimal SAP BI Solution and Practice Director Jeremy Stierwalt, the Optimal team is coming off a recent victory at the first annual ASUG BusinessObjects Users Group Conference Developer Wars last month.

The Optimal team for the Real-Time Race, comprised of Scott Sigsbey, Charles Nixon, Mohan Bachal, Nitin Hardikar, Lawrence Moreno, Greylin Johnson, Gagan Ghai, Dmitry Faybysh and Rob Janson, were recognized for their “polish”, the speed and sophistication of the solution, and the unique way in which they addressed the customer requirements.

Joining the Optimal team for this race was EMC Global SAP Lead Henrik Wagner, EMC Global Senior SAP Infrastructure Architect Christoph Streubert, EMC Senior Director of SAP Product Management Haji Aref, and Senior Product Manager at Cisco Erik Lillestolen. A special shout-out goes to this special support crew – they were true professionals that made an invaluable contribution to the effort.

Optimal's success in the SAP TechEd HANA Real-Time Race hinged most heavily on our deep expertise and leading-edge skills working with SAP HANA, SAP Analytics, SAP BI, SAP Mobility, SAP Business Warehouse, and SAP BPC solutions.

For the HANA Real-Time Race, Optimal got to test-drive the newly launched Cisco UCS with EMC Storage for SAP HANA Scale-Out Solution.

Read Cisco press release: Cisco Delivers Full Solution Portfolio for SAP HANA

Also worth checking out is the EMC Value Proposition for SAP HANA page.

Of course, showcasing HANA within Optimal Labs, and being among the first SAP partners out of the gate with comprehensive service offerings for helping businesses plan for and implement SAP HANA factored into our winning effort.

Read Optimal press release: Optimal Solutions Announces OPTIMIZE Consulting Services For SAP HANA

SAP TechEd 2012 in Las Vegas ranks among the best ever, and the HANA Real-Time Race infused the event with palpable energy and excitement.

All of us at Optimal are proud of our effort in the HANA Real-Time race. We sincerely appreciate SAP for inviting us to participate. We commend Bluefin on their strong performance, and we send huge thanks to the many Optimal fans who rooted us on throughout the intense competition.